By Virtue Fall by Carrie Elks book review


by virtue falls

By Virtue Fall written by Carrie Elks, publisher Piatkus, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

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Love blooms when you least expect it . . .
Juliet Shakespeare is done with love. With a growing floristry business and an adorable daughter to raise, life after separating from her husband is complicated enough.
But when handsome single father, Ryan Sutherland, arrives in town, everything changes. As much as she tries to distract herself, Juliet can’t help but be drawn to the easy-going Romeo next door and the way he makes her feel.
Photographer Ryan is only back in his hometown for a few months so there’s no point falling for someone he’ll just have to say goodbye to. But he didn’t account for Juliet – the intriguing and beautiful, red-haired woman next door. And in her, he might just have found everything he ever wanted . . .



I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

By Virtue Fall is the fourth and final instalment in the Shakespeare Sisters series.  Each story can be read as a standalone but I wholeheartedly recommend reading all the books in the series in order as characters from each novel do crop up in future stories and to be honest it’s an adorable, addictive series.  Each Shakespeare sister; Lucy, Juliet, Cesca and Kitty have their own personality traits and also have their own story to tell.  After reading each one I say to myself that I loved so and so’s story the most, or I thought that the author Carrie Elks couldn’t have written a better story than the first but then along comes another sister’s story and you fall in love all over again with each individual sister and their respective tale.

The books in the series in order are:

  • Summer’s Lease REVIEW
  • A Winter’s Tale REVIEW
  • Absent in the Spring REVIEW
  • By Virtue Fall

Each book takes you to a gorgeous location and with Juliet, we travel to the states to Maryland.  Juliet is in the middle of a messy divorce from her husband Thomas.  The best thing to come out of their marriage is their six year old daughter Poppy.  Now coping as a single mother Juliet is working hard with her floristry business.  Juliet’s other love in her life is flowers and she especially loves the meaning surrounding flowers and matching them to certain situations.

When Juliet first encounters Ryan Sutherland it’s under rather strained circumstances but a mutual appreciation of the highs and lows of parenthood breaks the ice and a friendship soon blossoms.

Ryan Sutherland is also a single parent and originated from the area but left under a dark cloud.  However, he decides to make a temporary home back in Maryland with his son Charlie till his new job starts in New York.  There is a lot of tension still bubbling between Ryan and his father and it soon becomes evident that the saying ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ has not worked.  Ryan holds a strong, charismatic bravado but there is a vulnerability behind his eyes.  With Ryan just in the area on a short term basis he doesn’t expect to meet with a kindred spirit in Juliet.  A beautiful young woman whose life is currently in turmoil and at times she appears a little fragile.

Is the timing wrong for romance to blossom between Juliet and Ryan?  Will her ex Thomas, who precariously holds a string controlling Juliet’s life, put a thorn in any future happiness for Juliet?

With complications in life and love comes a beautiful blossoming romance that is intoxicating and gorgeous.

I’ve completely loved the Shakespeare Sisters series by Carrie Elks; I’ve felt like I’ve known Lucy, Juliet, Cesca and Kitty; I’ve cried with them, laughed with them and have cheered them all on.  A set of beautiful, sexy and adorable stories.

About the Author

Carrie Elks writes contemporary romance with a sizzling edge. Her first book, Fix You, has been translated into eight languages and made a surprise appearance on Big Brother in Brazil. Luckily for her, it wasn’t voted out. Carrie lives with her husband, two lovely children and a larger-than-life black pug called Plato. When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found baking, drinking an occasional (!) glass of wine, or chatting on social media.





Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks book review


Two by Two written by Nicholas Sparks, publisher Sphere is available NOW in ebook, hardcover and audio download format.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)

The powerful new love story from multi-million-copy bestselling author Nicholas Sparks, Two by Two is a story of heartbreak, strength and unconditional love.

Sometimes the end is just the beginning . . .

Russell Green has it all: a loving family, a successful career and a beautiful house. But underneath his seemingly perfect world, cracks are beginning to appear . . . and no one is more surprised than Russ when the life he took for granted is turned upside down.

Finding himself single-handedly caring for his young daughter, while trying to launch his own business, the only thing Russ knows is that he must shelter his little girl from the consequences of these changes.

As Russ embarks on this daunting and unexpected new chapter of his life, a chance encounter will challenge him to find a happiness beyond anything he could ever have imagined.


I’d like to thank the publishers for an arc in return for a review.

This was such a poignant, emotive story … a love story with a difference. A year in the life of a father who’s life has suddenly become turbulent, he’s thrust into single parenthood  and that this dark side of his life he is facing the time he now spends with his daughter he see’s as a blessing. This time is his time with his daughter, two by two, learning about each other and experiencing new joys and new skills.

I loved how Nicholas Sparks delved into Russell’s history with his sub characters and we got to see Russ growing up and having lasting memories with his sister and best friend Marge, Russ finding his first love Emily, his wife Vivian and his gorgeous daughter London. These flashbacks into the past brought the story alive and you saw and learned more about Russell’s character.

The battles that Russ has had to face in such a short timespan were insurmountable but each member of his family and friends played a part in helping him survive these hurdles.

It was a wonderful story about relationships, about love, about life, about loss, about chances and about compromises. Very, very emotive and I read the last chapter through blurred eyes. A beautiful story that was written and told from the heart.  5/5*

To find out more about Nicholas Sparks and his books please visit the following pages:




The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward


The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward, publisher Blackfriars, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  This cover is the latest edition published on the 4th February 2016.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)

Alice and her husband, Jake, own a barbecue restaurant in Austin, Texas. Hardworking and popular in their community, they have a loving marriage and thriving business, but Alice still feels that something is missing, lying just beyond reach.

Carla is a strong-willed young girl who’s had to grow up fast, acting as caretaker to her six-year-old brother Junior. Years ago, her mother left the family behind in Honduras to make the arduous, illegal journey to Texas. But when Carla’s grandmother dies and violence in the city escalates, Carla takes fate into her own hands-and with Junior, she joins the thousands of children making their way across Mexico to America, facing great peril for the chance at a better life.

Poignant and arresting, The Same Sky is about motherhood, resilience, and faith – the story of two very different families on both sides of the American border.


I loved this story.  It is a fictional story based on real events gleaned from the research the author, Amanda Eyre Ward, took visiting shelters in Texas and California listening to the tales from the immigrant children.

The book was like two stories in one which consolidated in the closing words.  I particularly liked this style of book as each chapter was focused on one side of the story.  The chapters were fairly short and after reading each one I was keen to carry on reading to find out what happened next … the storyline gripped me quite early on.

Carla is a young girl aged 12 who had to grow up extremely quickly to look after her younger brother, six year old Junior.  Their mother fled their deprived area and made the illegal move to Texas to find work and send money back to her family.  The children had been left alone in Honduras, South America with their aging grandmother.  Sadly when Carla’s grandmother died Carla and Junior’s lives became very perilous.  Food was scarce and they were left very vulnerable.  The area they lived in was prone to robberies, attacks and much worse.  The children decided to escape the poverty and had hopes and dreams of finding their mother and the American Dream.

Their journey through South America and Mexico into Texas was terrifying.  They had no legal papers and were trekking through jungles and deserts, across water and scrounging lifts on trains.  They were exploited and terrorised and the journey was filled with awful events that scar your mind and body.

The other side of this book is set in Texas, a happily married couple who own their own BBQ restaurant.  Alice is desperate for a baby but sadly has been left infertile following a serious illness.  Alice and her husband Jake have tried all means to make their family complete.  I could feel the pain and longing Alice and Jake were feeling wanting a child.

This story is so raw with its storyline but it is told with such sensitivity.  It is a fictional story but I felt like I was reading a factual book and at the end of the novel I was desperate to find out more from the characters.  The lives of these children living in poverty stricken areas is so hard to understand and you cannot imagine any child ever having to live like that.  It is very thought provoking, thousands of children are desperate for a roof over their head and food for their stomach and then on the other hand childless couples all over the world are desperate to show their love for a child.

I won’t forget this story in a long time, I will always wonder about Carla and Junior.  Through a terrible ordeal for one person can be the light of hope and joy for another … 5/5* read.

To find out more about Amanda Eyre Ward and her books please visit the following links:


Reign of Iron by Angus Watson book review

reign of iron

Reign of Iron by Angus Watson, publisher Orbit an imprint of Little, Brown book group, is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audio download format.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)


‘Unflinchingly bloodthirsty and outrageously entertaining’ Christopher Brookmyre

‘It simply grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go’ Bibliosanctum

‘Gore soaked and profanity laden – full of visceral combat and earthy humor’ Publishers Weekly

‘Would I read the next one? Yes, absolutely. Bring me my hammer, bring my beer, bring it on!’ SF Crowsnest

‘Fun and addictive’ Fantasy Faction

Invaders have massacred and pillaged their way through neighbouring kingdoms and loom on the far side of the sea, ready to descend upon the fortress of Maidun – with them are an unstoppable legion of men twisted by dark magic. Somehow Queen Lowa’s army must repel the invasion, although their best general is dead and their young druid powerless. She faces impossible odds, but when the alternative is death or slavery, a warrior queen will do whatever it takes to save her people.


I’d like to thank the publishers for an arc of this novel in return for an honest review.  Once again Mr Kraftireader has helped me with this review.

An epic tale of lost love, hatred, revenge and retribution.  All the favourite characters are back in the final book of the trilogy.  Lowe the Warrior Queen of Maidun hoped to live a quiet existence after the loss of Dug, but finds that this is impossible with the Roman Army and Caesar wanting to conquer Britain. Spring is devastated at the loss of Dug and blames everyone, pushing people that love her away.  Within a few short chapters Lowe has her hands full and must send her closest friends into danger to help with gaining information to defeat Caesar. Will this be a successful plan that pays off or a disaster, costing her friends lives?

The first two books in the trilogy were a great read and this one follows on in the same way.  I loved the characters Lowe and Spring and how their story continues, from the first meeting to several years later.  Lowe is my favourite character; the Queen is intelligent, brave and can fire a bow better than Robin Hood! Even though she has suffered the loss of the man she loved, she needs to focus on the job in hand.

The druid Felix is back and up to no good, he is my second favourite character.  The power he holds over others, his ruthless nature and his use of magic is spellbinding. Felix has a great power and is determined to use it for his own agenda. You can’t help but despise him because of his lack of honour and the lack of feelings for others.

I loved reading Reign of Iron, part three of the trilogy; it had me hooked yet again, from the first battle to the heartrending conclusion!  I was shocked with the turn of events and what an ending, more twists and turns, heartache and joy than Eastenders!

If you have enjoyed reading Simon Scarrow’s legion series you will appreciate and devour this new trilogy that Angus Watson has brought us.  Highly recommended 5/5* read.

To find out more about Angus Watson please visit the following links: